The benefits of a longer term strategy
You can see into the future
When you start to think longer term you become less reactive and more proactive which enables you to think more clearly about the outcome you need from your actions. Sometimes when we are reactive we are more emotional about a decision and thinking longer term with all elements of the business considered, can allow pragmatism to take over.
You take your teams with you
Part of longer term strategy is your ability to take everyone on the journey with you. Little will be achieved in the normal SME environment by instructing your staff out of the blue that “this is the way things are from now on”. Change management and individual needs must be taken into account in order to match resource with objective.
Communication is superb
Shorter term strategies are highly applicable for some projects often due to tight time scales. Communication is great when everyone can see what is happening, is reminded it’s happening, can get used to it and when the outcome is mutually agreed (however long that may take).
Your culture is solid
Strong cultures are common in growing SMEs and it’s so important to nurture them with strategy and not destroy them. The heart of the business (and it’s success) lies in that culture so it’s worth protecting. If you can use your strategy to develop and plan your cultures change over time you’ll be on to something special in terms of results.
Your investments are measured
You can see what your opportunities are, what you want to achieve, how you are going to achieve them, why you are doing them, what risks they pose and when you will complete them. These opportunities are your investments; where you choose to spend your time and maximise your resource for the growth of the company.
Your progress is visible
You’ll set milestones with a longer term strategy and always have a goal to work towards. You can see where your business is going, what it’s achieving, how your customers are reacting and what’s worked well and also, what hasn’t, so that you can improve. You can turn progress into something tangible and not just a feeling or a set of numbers nobody looks at.
Your direction is clear
You are in the middle of an ocean all you can see is horizon. You need to know where the nearest land is for survival. You set your direction and stay on course, you’ll get there even if you occasionally have to be flexible about your methods but stay focussed.
Your outcomes are structured
Results will come if you develop a robust plan that all key stakeholders agree with and you map out what needs to be done to make them happen. When you remain results focussed you skip the anxiety in the middle that can often throw you and your teams of course, leading to resentment, confused customers and demotivated staff.
Your risks are mitigated
When you think longer term you can think more carefully about what could go wrong. However silly a risk it may seem, get it out there and brainstorm how you would deal with it. Prioritise the risks and have a contingency ready to keep you on course and stay focussed on your outcomes.
Your competitive advantage is protected
Staying ahead of your competition is important for market share. In order to stay engaged with your customers and keep everyone on track, you need to be aware of competitor activity and keep reassuring yourself about what it is that makes you different, stay one step ahead and that keeps your customers buying/using you over and over again.
If you are still confused about longer term strategy and it’s benefits get in touch [email protected]